Dubbo West Preschool Director Cathryn Albert says a team of Umbo Allied health professionals bought their expertise back to rural and remote Australia from third world countries after realising the demand for speech and occupational therapy was just as high here.
Umbo seeks to connect children in rural communities with speech and occupational therapists to perform vital therapy online to reduce the current waiting times for services.
The team will visit Dubbo West Preschool on May 21 to run a clinic for children on wait lists of up to 12 months.
"We have a number of fantastic services here in Dubbo, but the increase in speech issues and the need for occupational therapy we are observing means these services are extremely busy," Ms Albert said.
The team will connect children with therapists for online therapy, which reduces the waiting times to effectively nothing.
According to Ms Albert, speech problems are an issue that is growing throughout Australia.
"A lot of the time speech issues run in the family or can be caused by undetected hearing problems," she said.
"If children can't be understood, their needs can't be met," Ms Albert said.
"Alternatively that affects their confidence, their social skills and prevents them from speaking up when they need help."
The visit will up-skill staff and empower parents through online coaching and a parent information night.
A second clinic will be held in a month to service the number of children needing assessment fully.
Any children needing further therapy will be referred to Umbo's clinicians, who are trained specifically in performing therapy online.
Umbo's co-founder and speech pathologist Ed Johnson says Umbo does not believe any child should have to wait up to 12 months for services.
"Every day that a child's access to therapy is delayed it decreases their ability to participate, build relationships, and live the life they want," he said.
Umbo co-founder and CEO, Weh Yeoh says they find it absolutely absurd that in Australia, families have to wait this long for basic services.
"We're working with local communities, including local therapists, to ensure relevant and culturally appropriate work," he said.
Non-for-profit and not Government funded Dubbo based organisation Hear our Hearts will also work with these children to identify any underlying hearing problems, which may be contributing to speech issues, by providing free targeted hearing testing and free access to ear specialists. Hear our Hearts is a project ran by the Dubbo support group for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.